The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned customers to cease usage of the Podster, Podster Plush, Bummzie and Podster Playtime infant loungers made by Leachco Inc.
The CPSC learned of reports that claimed two infants suffocated after being placed on a Podster. A change in position led to the Podster or another object obstructing their noses and mouths.
The deaths of the 17-day-old and four-month-old infants occurred in 2018 and 2015, respectively. Approximately 180,000 Podsters have been sold.
The CPSC is investigating the Podsters and Leachco, which has not conducted a voluntary recall of the products.
The agency maintains that infant loungers are unsafe for sleep and recommends placing infants on their back on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet or play yard.
Leachco released a response to the CPSC announcement in which it rejected the CPSC's claims and confirmed the "Podster is safe for infants."
The company added, "The Podster is not a sleep product. Leachco has always had clear warnings on the product and its packaging not to place it in a bed or crib or use it for unsupervised sleep."
Rather, Leachco said the product is designed to assist with daytime care of awake infants when parents and caregivers need to free up both hands.
Leachco ended the statement with, "The CPSC’s claims are wrong. The agency ignores the important role loungers can have for parents and makes the wrong choice for families."
In response to Leachco's statement, the CPSC said its warning comes several months after a different brand of infant loungers was recalled.
"Infant loungers like Podsters are not safe for sleep yet Leachco has so far refused CPSC’s request to conduct a voluntary recall of the product. It is important to remember that under federal law, consumers’ use is considered in deciding whether a product is defective."
The CPSC added it will continue its investigation of Leachco's Podster and intends to consider other actions including potentially litigating.